Flowering houseplants add a layer of enjoyment, bringing color, and maybe even scent into your decor. While they may seem fancy, some can survive with only basic attention. Try brightening up the home with these eight flowering houseplants that will thrive with minimal care.
01 of 08
African Violet (Saintpaulia)
African violets are a popular houseplant for good reason. They are favorites because they do not require a dormant rest period, which allows them to bloom year-round. Although they do not require a lot of maintenance, these small, leafy plants sometimes do best in a container that allows for watering from the bottom. If you prefer to use a standard pot without a water reservoir, water carefully from the top avoiding the leaves, and let the soil dry between waterings. African violet leaves will spot, turn brown and die if cold water gets on them. Remove spent leaves from the bottom of the plant and pot up only when the size of the plant indicates a larger pot is needed. These bloomers do not have extensive root systems and, in general, will not require more than a 5- or 6-inch pot at maturity. While African violets are not demanding plants, they sometimes flourish for years and then die without warning.
- Light: Bright indirect sunlight
- Water: Keep moist and maintain humidity
- Color varieties: Purple, white, and red
02 of 08
If you are used to growing begonias outdoors, then you know that many varieties make excellent houseplants, blooming almost continuously in good conditions. To bloom well it will need a bright location, but do not place it too close to a window or it could be harmed by the draft. Some of the fancier-leaved Rex begonia varieties do not even need to be in bloom to be colorful. Besides Rex begonias, look for the fibrous-rooted types like wax-leafed, angel-wing, and hairy-leafed varieties.
- Light: Medium to high light
- Water: Water and mist regularly; keep humid
- Color varieties: Depends on variety
03 of 08
These quirky-looking plants are members of the pineapple family. Luckily, most do not get quite as large as pineapple trees. Bromeliads are distinguished by their colorful basal rosettes and showy flowers. The plants are tropical and many varieties are epiphytes or air plants absorbing moisture through the atmosphere rather than the plants on which they host. Bromeliads do well in bright light situations. They do not require a lot of water, but when they are watered well, let the water catch between the leaves, where it will be absorbed slowly.
- Light: Bright, indirect light
- Water: Water regularly, allowing water to catch between the leaves
- Color varieties: Pink, red, orange, and yellow
04 of 08
Chenille Plant (Acalypha hispida)
Both chenille and red-hot cattail are apt descriptions for this tropical plant. Few people can resist rubbing the catkin-like fuzzy, red flowers. The chenille plant is a fast grower and a long bloomer. Chenille plant can be grown outdoors during the summer and brought indoors when the temperatures cool in fall. It will go partially dormant in winter, so do not feed it until there is new growth in the spring. Stem tips may be removed during the growing season to encourage branching. Chenille plant needs high humidity to thrive. Mist it when it is indoors to keep it healthy.
Continue to 5 of 8 below.
- Light: Full sun to partial shade
- Water: Keep consistently moist
- Color varieties: Red
05 of 08
Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi)
Christmas cactus seems to thrive on neglect. It does not even need you to manipulate its light exposure to set buds for Christmas blooms. It is especially long-lived and propagates easily from cuttings. The long segmented leaves are notched at the margins. Stem tips produce flowers with petals of different lengths and a color palette in hues of pinks to reds. In addition to Christmas bloomers, this family of plants includes some that produce flowers at Easter. Christmas cactus does well when placed near a window. Do not let the pads touch a cold window or the plant can suffer cold damage. Although Christmas cactus needs well-draining soil, it also needs high humidity.
- Light: Bright, indirect light
- Water: Water regularly and thoroughly; drain well; mist frequently
- Color varieties: Pink and red
06 of 08
Clivia or Kaffir Lily (Clivia Miniata)
This amaryllis relative is grown from a bulb and, like its cousin, needs to be pot bound to flower, so do not plant it in a large container. Like the amaryllis, clivia goes through a dormant period before sending up a flower stalk. It will need total darkness at night when it goes dormant in late fall. Accomplish this by placing it in an unused closet or in a cardboard box. The stalk will sprout anytime from December through April, and then, normal care can be resumed.
- Light: shady spot with no direct sunlight
- Water: Water moderately; suspend watering in winter
- Color varieties: Shades of yellow or orange
07 of 08
Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
Many succulents make easy-care houseplants, but few look as lovely as kalanchoe (kal-un-KOH-ee) in bloom. As with all succulents, kalanchoe does not like wet soil. The plant should be kept moist spring through autumn but reduce winter watering to light, occasional applications. Kalanchoe is native to the tropics and while it is a lovely plant in bloom, it is difficult to get it to rebloom outside of its native range.
- Light: Bright indirect sun
- Water: Water when the soil feels dry; allow to drain; mist frequently
- Color varieties: Red, pink, yellow, or white
08 of 08
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum floribundum)
The peace lily is so low-maintenance that it is a great houseplant for the houseplant challenged or as a housewarming gift. It does not require much direct light and can handle occasional over or under-watering. The glossy, dark green leaves are offset by white spathes or bracts that enclose the tiny flower clusters and look almost like variegated leaves. The flowers are lightly scented, but close proximity is required to notice it. It will flower in even the shadiest of homes.
- Light: Medium, indirect light
- Water: Regular watering and misting
- Color varieties: White or yellow